Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: liquor sales

June
21st

Liquor privatization: Another negative consequence

After liquor sales were privatized June 1, a lot of people complained about the often higher prices, which incorporated new taxes required under voter-approved Initiative 1183. Others said the increase was well worth the greater convenience of more locations selling liquor virtually around the clock.

But one point hardly anyone is talking about is how privatization has narrowed choice and made it much harder to locate more obscure items.

For instance, before privatization went into effect, I was looking for a liqueur called Creme de Violette after reading an article about a famous old cocktail using it. The state liquor store I usually patronized didn’t carry it, but the clerk looked it up for me in the state database and said another store not far away carried it. He even offered to call over and have it held for me. Read more »

June
4th

Liquor prices didn’t drop? That shouldn’t be a surprise

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Many shoppers checking out the prices of liquor stocked at supermarkets and other outlets seem to be confused. They don’t understand why they’re paying at least as much for most items as before privatization took effect on Friday and, in some cases, more.

Presumably at least some of those shoppers helped pass Initiative 1183 last November to privatize liquor sales. Even though that initiative was written and promoted at high cost by Costco – which spent more than $22 million getting it passed – many folks seem to think the higher costs were imposed by “the state” or “the Legislature,” even “the governor.”

No, the voters are responsible for those higher costs. That’s what they voted for when they marked “yes” on I-1183. Read more »

Jan.
27th

Liquor superstore coming to Tacoma?

Costco might come to rue the day it spent millions to privatize liquor sales. It looks like it will have spirited competition from a liquor superstore called Total Wine, which is planning several locations in Washington according to an Associated Press story.

Anyone who’s gone to Arizona to watch Mariners spring practice might be familiar with Total Wine, which has a location a short distance from the Peoria sports complex.

I was in the area in October for a wedding and popped into Total Wine. It’s a pretty amazing place, with lots of advertised specials and a

Read more »

Dec.
23rd

Auditor has helpful suggestions for lawmakers

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

In slightly more than two weeks, state legislators will gather in Olympia for the 2010 session – and the unpleasant task of dealing with a $2.6 billion budget hole.

Lawmakers will likely consider a combination of yet more cuts to state government and services, and targeted tax and user fee increases. Two givens: Almost nothing they do will be popular with everybody, and everything they do will set off one interest group or another.

So they’d be smart to take advantage of at least a bit of cover offered by state Auditor Brian Sonntag. Last week, he released the “Opportunities for Washington” report, a performance review of state government that outlines several strategies for saving money, streamlining programs and providing better service.
Read more »